Opening in London Fields, hopefully in March (planning permission pending!) is Il Cudega, a deli, wine bar and restaurant dedicated entirely to the flavours and produce of Italy’s Lombardy region. Run by Giovanni Brighi, a Hackney resident of 20 years, and his Milanese business partner Luca Gaggioli, Il Cudega will be open from breakfast through to dinner and will also serve take away meals from an outdoor stall.
Amongst the Lombardy dishes that will be available at Il Cudega are ‘Risotto Giallo alla Milanese’ and ‘Zabaione’ (a dessert made with egg yolk, sugar and Marsala wine). Il Cudega will also offer some more unknown dishes, wines and produce such as Raspadura (soft Grana Padano from Lodi), Slinzega (a type of Bresaola from Valtellina), goose prosciutto, and Risotto Giallo Saltato (saffron risotto fried into a thin layer), bringing a fresh perspective on Italian cuisine to London.
Situated in one of three railway arches being developed just off Westgate street – the other two housing a nursery and a mixed retail space – a shared outdoor space will provide a vibrant community hub, as well as gardens, bike racks and a greenhouse growing vegetables for the restaurant. Il Cudega aims to be connected closely with the surrounding community and everyone involved with project, from the gardener to the furniture designer, lives and works in the area.
To help raise funds for the development of this communal outdoor space, Il Cudega has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, offering donors an early glimpse at some of the produce and recipes as well a sense of ownership in the project. ‘Perks’ for donors range from Milanese recipe cards and handpainted ceramic plates to cheese hampers and cookery courses.